Public Comments On Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets A Focus Of Monday’s Albany Common Council Meeting – About Your Online Magazine


The discussion of public security continued as the Albany Joint Council met virtually on Monday night.

The counselors continued to discuss three main issues: Local law C, which would prohibit tear gas and rubber bullets; the COVID Recovery Task Force and the South Station incidents, from the April 14 clash between police and protesters to the cleanup of protesters on April 22 who set up a tent city across the street from the police station.

Common counselor for the ninth district, Judy Doesschate, proposed Local Law C, which most councilors did not want to vote during a mid-April meeting because of disagreement over whether to allow the use of tear gas and rubber bullets in certain circumstances. . A public comment period took up half of Monday night’s meeting. Residents continue to ask the panel to approve the measure. Nairobi Vives, chairman of the Community Police Review Board.

“I was very disappointed with the hesitation of many of the members to move forward and take bold action on this issue. I would like to thank the members of the Doesschate and Johnson Council for their firm position and I urge the rest of the members to follow their example on this issue. Many have talked about indiscriminate use and the effects it has on blacks and browns in this community. I just want to say that as a member of the collaborative too, we see that where there is an area for police discretion, there is almost always discrimination against blacks and browns and it is your job, we are asking you to help protect this community. “

Doesschate was also highlighted in a discussion last week over what she claimed to be a “secret” meeting on April 23 of a task force set up by the City to distribute $ 85 million in federal aid from COVID. The 13th ward counselor, Ginnie Farrell, explained how it will be done.

“They are just an advisory role, they have no ability to distribute money. Federal funds were given and allocated to very specific types of buckets. Therefore, the restaurant’s recovery is an example. Therefore, the real purpose of this task force is to ensure that it is the people in the community who are actually looking at the different buckets and ensuring that all of this funding is used. So, if it is, or something else, if it is used very quickly, they can report and say that there is not a much greater need for it. And then the mayor’s office can bring together a group of people to try to defend that. Or maybe it’s not being used up and there needs to be more information out there. So yeah, it’s really in that role. There is no financing, they cannot distribute funds. And that is not the intention of this task force. “

Half an hour before the council meeting, Mayor Kathy Sheehan’s office issued a press release acknowledging that the task force had indeed met on that date for the first time, naming the group members and outlining the panel’s objectives. The release is posted below this article.

Protesters joined the Zoom session to defend the move after the South Station clashes. Michaela Foster reiterated several of the activists’ demands, including firing policeman Devin Anderson, who had physical contact with some protesters, and participating in a live panel discussion with Mayor Sheehan and police chief Eric Hawkins.

“We were here giving a speech. We were not touching the barricades. We had a coup or. And we were reading our list of demands sent to everyone. They have been made public. We demand that there be a database created in cooperation with the CPRB, because the police should not investigate police officers. “

Councilors voted on a resolution on climate change and noted that the Albany School Council will present its budget at the May 12 political convention. For now, the tear gas legislation will continue to be discussed and the panel says it plans to have police representatives present at the next round of negotiations. The next regular meeting is on May 17th.

Mayor Sheehan, Co-Chairs Whalen and Hoke announce members of the Albany City COVID Recovery Task Force

Albany’s COVID recovery task force made up of 41 diverse community leaders, covering arts and entertainment, banks, daycare, economic development, education, government, health and human services, housing, work, non-profit organizations, restaurants and other small businesses and development of the workforce Sectors

ALBANY, NYAlbany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Mike Whalen, Co-Chairs of the Albany City COVID Recovery Task Force and Jahkeen Hoke presented the 41 individuals nominated for the city’s COVID Recovery Task Force – representing a variety of sectors, including Arts and Entertainment, Banking, Child Care, Economic Development, Education, Government, Health and Human Services, Housing, Work, Endless Profit, Restaurants and other small businesses and workforce development.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said: “I am grateful to the members of the Task Force, which first met on April 23, for agreeing to provide their time and leadership while we recover from a pandemic that occurs once in a century.”

The Albany City COVID Recovery Task Force, created by Mayor Sheehan, has four main objectives:

  • Get a common understanding of how the American Rescue Plan can help the city of Albany;
  • Identify the needs of Albany city residents, businesses and non-profit organizations that are not covered by other sources of funding;
  • Maximize fairly and strategically the resources available to our residents, businesses and community organizations to restart Albany and rebuild better; and
  • Involve all sectors of the city of Albany to ensure that resources are directed where they are needed to restart Albany, reopen business, avoid evictions and strengthen our nonprofits.

The COVID Recovery Task Force will complete a needs assessment and identify areas that need investment in the coming months to help Albany rebuild better. Mayor Sheehan and the Albany Joint Council will use this information to help determine how to maximize funding for the City Recovery Act.

On March 12, 2021, Mayor Sheehan appointed Mike Whalen, managing vice president, M&T Bank, and Jahkeen Hoke, CEO of Business For Good Foundation, as co-chairs of the city’s COVID Recovery Task Force. The COVID Recovery Task Force first met on Friday, April 23, 2021.

To learn more about the COVID Recovery Task Force, visit https://albanyny.gov/1924/COVID-Recovery-Taskforce

Albany City COVID Recovery Task Force Members



Paula Fonseca